When we talk about the cost of long-term medical care, it’s not just about the money. If we’re talking about preventable birth injuries, the child suffers, the family struggles, and many parents don’t want to believe their trusted family doctor or obstetrician is at fault. Pointing the medical malpractice finger, regardless of legal outcome, is an accusation that many are reluctant to make, even in the face of clear evidence. There is no doubt that seeking compensation for a birth injury can be a hard road to travel – but not as hard as living with the financial and emotional effects of the birth injury itself.
Approximately seven out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States are injured during labor and delivery. While the facts of each case are unique to each situation, birth injuries are usually caused by the doctor’s failure to recognize certain conditions, the doctor’s failure to respond to certain conditions, or by injuries induced by prenatal care. No two cases are exactly the same; certain symptoms aren’t visible immediately; and some babies are born with a birth defect that can mask itself as a condition caused by negligence. These factors combine to make birth injury cases particularly tricky.
Assessing the financial and emotional costs of a birth injury can also be difficult, which is why many people draft a Life Care Plan. This legal document is assembled by several medical experts and other specialists to decide what an injured child will need during his or her life in order to be comfortable and healthy. The plan estimates costs across a range of core areas such as medical, rehabilitative, educational, and developmental, while taking into account inflation as well as geographic area. Such a document can be used as part of a birth injury trial to help quantify damages and hold the responsible party accountable.
A life care plan for a birth injury victim has to anticipate a lifetime of possibilities. Generally, such plans encompass the following:
- Educational expenses
- Adaptive equipment
- Home modifications (handrails, ramps, roll-in showers, etc.)
- Projected routine future medical care, surgeries, and medications
- Therapies such as occupational or speech
- Expenses for in-home care
- Transportation costs
- Aids for independent function
- Lost wages and respite care costs for parents.
Trying to plan for any and all eventualities is virtually impossible, but a child affected by a birth injury has the right to live as fully as possible. Whether the injury is cognitive, physical, or both, proper care management is paramount – and expensive.
Seeking financial compensation for an avoidable birth injury is an understandable reaction for parents who find themselves facing this challenge. If you have any questions about this topic, or if you suspect that your child was the victim of medical malpractice, contact experienced Louisiana birth injury attorney Chris Roy, Jr., founder of the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm. Having practiced law for nearly 30 years, he takes pride in helping negligence victims in Alexandria, Pineville, Rapides Parish, Grant Parish, Avoyelles Parish, Allen Parish, Vernon Parish, and throughout Central Louisiana. Benefit from his assistance and knowledge by contacting the firm for a free initial consultation. Call 1-318-487-9537 to get help today.